For as many things as have been written before, have been written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement (comfort) of the scriptures we might have hope — Romans 15:4 Darby Bible Translation
This is a popular line in evangelistic circles, “come as you are to the Lord Jesus”. Unfortunately, it is 50% truth. The problem with 50% truth is that it is dangerous, distorted and can be filled with any other thing. “Come as you are”, and then what? Do you see what I mean?
Distorted truth leads to a sub-optimal life in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. The truth sets free. That is very very true but it has to be the whole truth. That is why Paul told the elders in the church in Ephesus that he ensured that he told them the whole truth contained in the counsel of God. See it in different translations
- For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (King James Version)
- For I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the whole plan of God (The Complete Jewish Bible)
- For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. (Good News Translation)
- For I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know (New Living Translation)
Let me present to you what the whole truth in this instance is, “Come As You Are But Be Ready To Repent”. Repentance means leaving the ways you use to do things as dictated by your upbringing, culture, environment, etc, and embrace the prescribed ways of Jesus Christ as stated in the Bible (the whole counsel of God). As such, you can come as you are but you cannot stay as you are.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind — Romans 12:2 Berean Study Bible.
Coming in is free but you must renew your mind by the word of God. Only the word is your standard, not what others do or what that denomination does. You must see what God says about anger, pride, envy, friendship, marriage, business, diligence and other facets of life. That is where the renewal comes from. You are going by God’s standards.
Not an easy task I must say but that is why Jesus came so that the grace to do God’s will, will be released to you. I have experienced that grace by embracing it. I have seen it clean up my life. I am a beneficiary and I can attest to it. In John 1:17, it is clearly written there that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The grace to do and walk in God’s truth.
As we go down you will see the people that came, changed their ways and the outcomes of their lives. Also here are those who came and stayed as they were. My prime example for those who refused to change but were happy to be around Jesus is Judas Iscariot.
Those Who Came As They Were But Were Willing To Change Their Ways
Zacchaeus: The book of Luke Chapter 19 verses 1 -9, details the encounter between this fella and Jesus. He came as he was, a man not gifted in height but with a heart to seek Jesus. The first thing he did was to change his position. This showed his desire. He did a dishonourable thing for a man of his class in the society; the indignity to climb a tree to sight the Messiah. Just imagine it for once … your head of state climbing a tree to see Jesus. The second thing he did in the story is that he was willing to forego of wealth he made by unrighteous means to follow the one that has eternal life. He was willing to give it all and follow Jesus. Let me say it again; he was willing to give his wealth, reduce his standing in the society to follow the Lord God. Why? Because he’d found a pearl of great value and was willing to “sell” all he had to “acquire” Jesus.
The Disciples of Jesus: The story of how Jesus recruited his disciples was fascinating. A fisherman who saw a great wonder and left his occupation to follow Jesus. Followed by James and John the sons of Zebedee. Matthew, the tax collector joined the league. Do not forget, these men were core Jewish fellas and to follow another master apart from an ordained Rabbi was as good as anathema. They came as they were, filled with Jewish doctrines and traditions, but they were ready to change their ways and follow Jesus — imbibing His gospel and leading others to him through their words, conduct and obedience to the truths of God.
The Woman Caught in Adultery: A good story in the scripture in John 8. This woman was brought to Jesus to practically put a seal on her execution. The terms were tricky but Jesus told her the truth. “They have brought you for death but I give you life. But to keep this life ‘go and sin no more!’” She came as she was; an adulterer (as if she committed it all by herself), but was forgiven. To keep her current status, she had to change your ways.
The other examples are here in scriptures. Prime amongst them is Saul of Tarsus, Ruth of Moab, Nicodemus and many others. They came to receive eternal life. They changed from their ways after they received the truth in God’s word.
And then there was one … those who came to Jesus and remained as they were.
Ananias and Sapphira: These folks came to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and even suffered persecution with the early church as recorded in Acts 5:1–11. They came to Jesus, received His message of the whole dependency on God but they refused to fully commit. They needed a little security. Unfortunately, it does not work that way with Jesus. It is either you are in or out. There is no mid-ground. You are either cold or hot. The life in Jesus is like binary numbers, you are either a 1 or a 0. There is no middle ground. This couple did not get it and since they wanted things their way, their end was disastrous.
If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you. God’s experiments always succeed. The saint realizes that it is God Who engineers circumstances, consequently there is no whine, but a reckless abandon to Jesus — Oswald Chambers
Judas Iscariot — This man needs no introduction. He was with Jesus on earth. He saw great miracles and mighty works. He witnessed things many only dreamt of but he came to Jesus and stayed as he was; a cheat, a deceiver and a man who cherished the wages of iniquity more highly that the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He died a violent death by his own hands. He could not even forgive himself; that was how dark his mind was. He betrayed Jesus, just as the same as Peter denied Jesus. Peter found redemption but Judas for whatsoever reason dug deeper into his sins. The life of Judas shows us that it is a great evil to be around Jesus and His people, have a semblance of that life, speak Christianese and not repent. The life of Judas shows you what happens when the judgement of God comes.
“Share Our Inheritance” Fella — In the middle of expounding the word of God in Luke 12, a certain man asked Jesus to do what was not in His assignment; judge over the sharing of earthly inheritance. This man came to Jesus as he was and wanted to stay as he came. Jesus told him straight up — “Guy, who made me a judge over such matters. It is either you are here for the eternal gospel or you are not”. As Leon Morris said about Jesus, “He (Jesus) came to bring men to God, not property to man”. Jesus backed it up with His words to His disciples. “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”
Others in this category include Prophet Balaam, the rich young ruler, Simon The Sorcerer, Alexander the Coppersmith, et al. They came as they were and wanted to remain as they were. Mba!!!! That does not work for Jesus.
When you come as you are and receive the words of Jesus and do them, then you will start living a new life filled with light. That light enables you to see things as God sees.
You can see the deceitfulness of riches
You can see the foolishness of adultery
You will see the vanity of fame
You will see that the life of a man does not consist of his riches.
You will see that Jesus is the way the truth and the light.
You will see that Jesus has redeemed you from the curse of the law.
You will see that you have no business with generational curses; it is a gospel preached by those who want to make merchandise of the gospel.
You will see that you can only pray through Jesus and get to God.
You will see that praying in the name of anyone dead or living is futile.
You will see that you cannot buy God because He owns the cows upon a thousand hills.
Go and live the great life in Jesus Christ. Amen
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